CAN 2024: the Ivorian Elephants, champions of Africa, decorated and awarded

The Ivorian football team, which became African champions for the third time in its history on Sunday February 11, at home, was decorated and awarded Tuesday during a presidential ceremony in Abidjan

CAN 2024: the Ivorian Elephants, champions of Africa, decorated and awarded

The Ivorian football team, which became African champions for the third time in its history on Sunday February 11, at home, was decorated and awarded Tuesday during a presidential ceremony in Abidjan. Each player received a bonus from the President of the Republic Alassane Ouattara in the amount of 50 million CFA francs (76,000 euros) and a villa of an identical value.

Coach Emerse Faé, who took the reins of the team along the way after the ouster of Jean-Louis Gasset, receives a bonus of 100 million CFA francs (152,000 euros). All the players and staff were also decorated with the National Order, the highest distinction in Ivory Coast.

A triumph coupled with a successful organization

“You have brought happiness to all Ivorians, bravo, bravo,” said President Ouattara during this ceremony, in the presence of the entire government and presidents of institutions. “You cannot imagine to what extent you have succeeded in uniting the Ivorians,” added the head of state, who also praised the security forces for “the way in which this CAN was secured”. “We have shown that a united Ivory Coast is capable of many things,” added Max-Alain Gradel, the captain of the selection.

The ceremony was also an opportunity for the players to pay tribute to President Ouattara who had publicly encouraged the Elephants on January 23, after the humiliating defeat in the group stages against Equatorial Guinea (4-0). “Everyone had turned their backs on us. But you had the words of a father who gives confidence because he trusts. Thank you for what you said when you said it,” said Max-Alain Gradel.

Ivory Coast managed an almost miraculous journey to win this CAN: on the verge of elimination after its rout against Equatorial Guinea, it then beat Senegal, Mali, the DRC and Nigeria, defying the predictions. A triumph coupled with a successful organization of the competition which allowed a moment of national unity in the country.

“Congratulations to the authorities, to President Alassane Ouattara and to all those who organized this CAN on our territory for a third historic victory,” greeted Tidjane Thiam, the president of the Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI), the main party of opposition, in a press release.